An intrepid modder has discovered Nier Automata's "final secret": a cheat code.
Lance McDonald, who Eurogamer has covered multiple times for his varied work on the likes of P.T. and Bloodborne, found a cheat code in the early 2017 release that lets you skip to the last ending immediately after killing the first boss and unlock the bonus modes.
Over the weekend, the English language Nier Twitter account congratulated McDonald for the discovery, and Nier Automata development chief Yoko Taro, who two years ago had teased there was still one final secret no-one had yet found in the game, shared the work, pointing out it took three years and 10 months for the cheat code to be discovered.
In a video, below, McDonald explains how his hunt began after he spotted engine code, listed as CheatCommandManager, that wasn't used in-game. McDonald then used his familiarity with the game to reverse engineer the final secret from there, working out where to stand in-game and what to input.
The cheat code can only be entered while standing in one particular place at one specific moment in the game, but it's worth doing: it unlocks Chapter Select, Debug Mode, the Debug Room and the Trophy Shop, as well as a few other items. This saves the player from having to complete three playthroughs of the game in order to unlock these features.
The cheat code is triggered during Nier Automata's prologue (chapter 01-02_3: 2B Inside the Factory). The only time it can be activated is after the brief conversation 2B has with 9S after defeating the first boss. 2B must stand in-between two sets of three barrels - as McDonald points out, likely placed deliberately for the cheat input.
While remaining in this spot, hold R2 and press up, down, up, right, left, square, circle, triangle, X. To keep 2B in place while inputting the command, bring up the quick use menu and input from there. Input the command correctly and the screen will fade to black, and the game will skip all the way to the post-credits scene of the final ending.
The cheat code is a huge time saver, considering how many times you have to finish Nier Automata to unlock this stuff under normal circumstances. And it's also super handy for those who simply want to mess about with the game right from the start.
So there you have it, Nier Automata is pretty much done and dusted. Will there be a Nier Automata sequel? Given how well Nier Automata went down, I imagine there will be. And if so, I imagine it won't take quite as long to discover its cheat code.
Will you support Eurogamer?